With new technologies creating more uses for kiosks, the demand for outdoor kiosks is as strong as ever. Companies contemplating a kiosk in an outdoor location must consider ways to ensure the kiosk's performance will not be compromised by adverse weather or other factors.
Following are the leading issues to be considered when planning an outdoor kiosk
How can you prevent water damage?
The kiosk should be designed and engineered to withstand all weather conditions. One of the most common causes of damage to outdoor kiosks is water. There are several ways to specifically prevent water damage, including a rain hood, compression locks and strategically placed bends to avoid puddling water. Outdoor kiosks should always include high quality gasketing and be water tested prior to shipment.
How does the kiosk access power and Internet connection?
Power and Internet connection depend on the client and location. Most outdoor kiosks are hardwired to meet local codes, and Internet connection can be accessed through Wi-Fi or cellular data.
How do you protect the kiosk from vandalism?
Location is a critical factor when avoiding vandalism, and while there's no way to completely eliminate the possibility of vandalism, we go to extreme lengths to prevent damage to the kiosk. Tempered glass, toughened materials, proper finishes and graphic wraps are all designed to withstand attempts of tampering. The use or display of a camera also helps discourage vandalism.
Will I be able to see the screen in the sunlight?
Outdoor kiosks should use high bright monitors that are rated for outdoor use and have automated dimming features. However, using high bright monitors also requires the proper cooling capabilities to prevent overheating.
How will the kiosk react to extreme cold or heat?
All kiosks should be constructed of quality materials that meet or exceed requirements for climate conditions. This might include units with air conditioning and heating capabilities, depending on what region the outdoor kiosk is built for.
Does the kiosk require any special cleaning?
Outdoor kiosks should be sprayed with a heavy duty primer and a polyurethane protectant. These finishes, along with graphics that are made from climate proof materials, will make the kiosk simple to clean with just water and soap.
Does the kiosk require regular maintenance?
We recommend monthly inspections to make sure air vents aren't blocked by outdoor debris. Some units have filters, much like climate control units in homes, that may need to be changed periodically.
What's the life span of an outdoor kiosk?
The life span of an outdoor kiosk is very dependent on the climate they are deployed in. One of our first outdoor kiosks has been deployed for over seven years and is still working just as consistently as it was on the first day.
Why are outdoor kiosks more expensive than indoor units?
Outdoor kiosks tend to be more expensive than indoor kiosks for a number of reasons. For example, the design and engineering is far more involved, materials to build outdoor kiosks are more expensive because of the waterproofing ability and outdoor rating of those materials, doors are sealed for direct exposure to the elements, and a dual powdered coating process is required.
What are the location requirements for installing an outdoor kiosk?
Site prep is critical when preparing to install an outdoor kiosk. The site has to be prepped with a level, concrete foundation. There also might be city or town codes that need to be approved before installing the kiosk.
Chris Gilder / Chris Gilder, CEO and founder of Meridian Kiosks, brings more than 20 years of entrepreneurial successes to the senior management team. Meridian has been recognized as a leader in the self-service kiosk industry and an innovator with the development of the Self Service Technology Center in partnership with Intel, HP, Microsoft, Zebra Technologies and Storm.